Desecrated Jewish burial ground, Hasmonean Fortress at Jericho
Desecrated Jewish burial ground, Hasmonean Fortress at JerichoRegavim

As the Jewish world celebrates the Festival of Lights, Regavim, The Preserving the Eternal Project, and the Binyamin Regional Council mark the most recent triumph of the Jewish spirit over the forces of darkness.

The circle that was closed yesterday began last year, when Regavim’s field activities sparked a unique rescue mission: Volunteers for the “Preserving the Eternal” project discovered that the Palestinian Authority had issued permits for agricultural work resulting in the desecration of the ancient burial grounds at the Hasmonean Fortress of Jericho. They found the catacombs plundered, the sarcophagi stolen, and human remains that had been at rest there for over 2,000 years scattered around the site - which was being plowed and steam-rolled.

Reinterment at the Kfar Adumim Cemetery
Reinterment at the Kfar Adumim CemeteryRegavim

Regavim alerted the Civil Administration, and a rescue mission to collect the desecrated remains and reinter them at the Jewish cemetery in Kfar Adumim was set in motion.

Yesterday (Monday), in a moving and powerful stone-setting ceremony, the operation came full circle: At the special section of the Kfar Adumim Cemetery set aside for the Kohanim of Jericho by the Binyamin Regional Council, Regavim and ‘Preserving the Eternal’ marked the final resting place of the Hasmonean royal family, and reaffirmed the unbreakable bond between the Jewish People, the Land of Israel, and Jewish history and heritage – the very things for which the Maccabees, members of the Hasmonean royal family buried in the Jericho Fortress, fought over 2 millennia ago.

Cohanim remains from Jericho
Cohanim remains from JerichoRegavim